Temperatures dipped sharply around these parts (ooer missus) over the last few days and so it was time to get out the long-johns. One of the local shops now stocks Icebreaker base layer clothing including tops, bottoms, and shorts.
I picked up a couple of versions – the Bodybasics top and trousers and an additional Bodyfit top if only to see the difference.
The Icebreaker Bodyfit base Layer is 96% merino wool, with 4% lycra for a better fit while the Bodybasics have 100% merino wool. After just a week or so they are my favorite base layer by a significant margin with a really good blend of fit, weight and warmth. Suffice to say I will only be adding more from the range – brand loyalty gained.
The Icebreaker Sprint Crew is the best fitting baselayer in my wardrobe. I have plenty of other man-made base layers to compare and while the Bodyfit has thumb loops in the sleeves even the Bodybasic with no such add-ons fits well and doesn’t ride up the arms or legs. The sleeves are long enough without being floppy. It isn’t too tight around the chest, and the torso is long enough to tuck into pants (yes, all you commandos out there, pants). Overall, the fit is consistently snug but never tight and it’s easy to put on additional layers if needed. So far not – the one time I did wear a t-shirt over the base layer it was too hot.
One big point – it’s easy to get the top off too. No struggling around or third-party assistance required. It’s also stylish and comfortable enough for sleeping or lounging around the house in.
There are different weights for different seasons but as I knew I’d be putting effort in while wearing this gear I went for the mid-range 200 weight options. I have no idea how this really thin garment keeps me so warm. From the label “baacode” you can trace the base layer back to the merino sheep from which it came. I might just do that – suspect the sheep may be magical.
I wear a soft shell cycle jacket on top which is a superb wind blocker and that’s it. Base layer plus softshell is all I need and leaves me feeling light (in clothing terms) and flexible.
Of all my base layers, the Icebreaker wicks the best and damp wool feels much better than damp synthetic. The Icebreaker never feels you have a like a wet sponge in your pants. In colder conditions, this gear really excels. On long climbs on cold winter days I’m reaching the top warm, not wet.
It’s obvious I’m sold on this range of clothing. The range, by the way, is huge and it can be hard to relate the options to cycling but I found both the Bodyfit (model is Sprint Crew) and the Bodybasics 200 range ideal for the sub zero bike ride.
My problem now is cold feet. I’m working on that one, watch this space.
Sidenote: On the MTB I am riding with high quality ski gloves. No cycling gloves come close.